Science and research
To improve understanding and assess the environmental and socio-economic implications of offshore renewable developments, and in line with the Precautionary Principle, Marine Scotland have established the Scottish Marine Energy Research (ScotMER) programme.
ScotMER is an initiative that involves collaboration from industry, environmental NGOs, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, and other interested stakeholders, to facilitate the sustainable development of offshore renewable energy in Scottish waters. This body of research will support sound scientific decision making and management through filling knowledge gaps and using new research to inform future decision making and policy.
There are two parts to the ScotMER programme: the evidence maps that provide a comprehensive framework of gaps in knowledge, and the research programme that is structured around this framework.
ScotMER evidence maps
Marine Scotland has worked with industry, environmental NGOs, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, and other interested stakeholders, to map out the gaps in knowledge when assessing the environmental and socio-economic impacts of offshore renewable developments.
To do this, seven specialist groups were created, each focussing on particular impact receptors. These groups are:
- Marine mammals
- Fish and fisheries
- Diadromous fish
- Physical processes
- Social and economic
Each group, made up of experts and stakeholders, have worked together to produce ‘evidence maps’ which provide a framework to guide ScotMER research projects.
The initial processes of mapping out knowledge gaps has been completed and the resulting evidence maps are now available. These maps will be reviewed and updated based on new scientific evidence.
For more information about ScotMER and the process of producing evidence maps, please see the stakeholder brief.
ScotMER research programme
The ScotMER programme is taking forward high priority research projects identified by the evidence maps.
Marine Scotland is collaborating with industry, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, other government departments, researchers, NGOs, and other interested stakeholders, across Scotland, the UK, and Europe, to conduct research that will further understanding of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of offshore renewables developments. This coordinated approach enables exploration of joint funding opportunities, cooperation across national boundaries, and the disseminated of new knowledge to inform future decision making.
ScotMER is an active programme, and Scottish Government seek to commission new research where appropriate to address knowledge gaps identified in the evidence maps. Below are links to the final reports of recently completed projects:
- Improving estimates of seabird body mass survival relationships (28 July 2020)
- Attributing Seabirds at Sea to Appropriate Breeding Colonies and Populations (28 July 2020)
- Scoping Study - Regional Population Viability Analysis for Key Bird Species (28 July 2020)
Conferences highlighting current and future opportunities for marine renewables in Scotland.
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